Thursday, March 24, 2005


The Funeral

Image hosted by Thursday morning at eleven was the funeral. Mercifully, it stopped raining but it was still a depressing gray. The only other direct relatives to my Grandmother, her sister and her sister's daughter, arrived from New Jersey early and we waited at my Grandmother's house until it was time to go to the cemetary.

More people came then we expected and the attendees included (apart from us) neighbors, relatives of mine on my Mom's side, and even a few close friends I grew up with here. Frank and Joe were actually pallbearers at my mother's funeral twenty-four years before.

The kids were very well-behaved. Alice slept through the ceremony and Sarah and I took turns holding Porter. I wasn't sure how I'd feel at the cemetary, my Grandmother was being buried right next to my Mom in the last spot in the family plot. I did get choked up during the proceedings primarily because I kept reflecting on our kids and my own childhood.

I felt a little disconnected and had my usual feelings of being the family outsider that I so often get when I'm home. I had virtually nothing to do with the ceremony and will have even less to do with the estate since my cousin Debbie will be the Executrix. My Grandmother was, to be kind, a difficult woman and though I loved her she made life very difficult for my Mom and started to do the same to me when I was younger, as well. Since I moved away from Pennsylvania, over twenty years ago, I only saw her every few years and she made it very clear to me on numerous occasions that she didn't want or need any help from me as she got older. She was a very proud person and could not admit to needing that kind of help. It made things tense as her mind began to deteriorate, which began over a decade ago and I learned to stay out of her affairs. Her sister, my Great Aunt Ann, was in a much better position to force her way into helping her and, happily, that is what she did.

The last time I saw her was the week before Christmas two years ago when Sarah was working in New York City and we made a quick trip down to see her. She wasn't lucid when we were there and so I don't think she knew we were even there. Regrettably, she never got to meet alice, her second great-grandchild.

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